Written September 16, 2014
We have loved Parsifal for over 50 years, seeing 3 productions and hearing numerous from recordings and other live presentations over the radio. This time the Met brought together unforgettable artists to the stage. All voices were great, but the 3 - the tenor a and both basses - Jonas Kaufman,Evgeny Nikitin, and Rene Pape sung well beyond expectations. Likewise for drama and voices, Katarina Dalayman and Peter Mattei excelled better than ever. The conductor, Daniele Gatti, won special praise for a tender and yet where needed an explosive and passionate performance. De rigeur for doing all by/from the heart. He's made it into my Conductors' Hall of Fame. Now on the other hand we had a- let me call it - stark and dark production and sets. How do you reconcile flower girls without any flowers; ankles in 'blood' do not convey seduction to even the blind. Where is the charm of Good Friday Spell without any green...in a cemetery. God save us from such modernists and minimalists. GO.
Written September 17, 2014
Perhaps the best Met HD presentation of a stellar season. Fantastic cast, compelling production, some of composer Wagner's most beautiful music, and a great host in Eric Owens, all add up to the perfect storm in a positive sense. This six hour marathon seemed all too brief as what unfolded to be one of the finest operas in memory.
Written March 07, 2013
"Parsifal" is at its heart another rousing Wagner fairytale. There are magic objects and a clueless youth who yearns for his mother and doesn't know his father. Unlike the pagan myth of the Ring, however, the Christian component of this fairytale equates sex not with liberating love but with bloody uncleanness. The knights and the female worshippers are always separate. Blood soaks Amfortas and his helper knights and contaminates the holy spring's stream in Act. I because he had embraced a female. In Act II at blood-coiffed sorcerer Klingsor's castle, the unclean "flower maidens" pole dance on spears, their costumes soaking up the red pools on the floor. Blood appears under Kundry as she tries to seduces Parsifal.
Then in Act III,Parsifal sings "I was appointed for deliverance but deliverance escapes me, lost in hopeless error!" Was Wagner blaming the progress-obstructing myth of man's guilt?: Much thought and theatrics, all cloaked in magical music performed beautifully. RF
Written March 03, 2013
One of the most extraordinary performances I've seen. The starting point is the divine music. But then add in a dream cast, the Met orchestra and chorus, and the very powerful new production, and you have the makings for a "perfect moment," when all the factors come together to make something that is transformative. The time flew by and I felt a sense of loss when it was done. The new production and direction really helped to underscore the story of Parsifal's journey, and the backstage glimpses during intermission were fascination.
Written August 20, 2014
A must see for Wagner fans. If you can get a ticket for the re-broadcast do it. Just be sure to realize you need a good night's sleep before hand. The first act is 2 hours, so be prepared.
The production is sublime and the singers are all just amazing. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.